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not long ago,someone on here posted an article stating the .380 has a slightly higher, one shot stop percentage over the .38spl....is this info accurate? everthing i've ever read says the 38spl is superior..what's your take on this?
 

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"One shot stop" statistics are somewhat less useful than knowing what color unicorns the round works best against.

So many variables - shot placement, clothing, assailant mental state, assailant pharmacological state - make this a useless point of argument,IMHO.

.22, .38, .45, 12 Ga., phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range, it doesn't matter. The tactic never changes. Shoot until the threat stops.

Matt
 

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There are statistics out there to prove anything that one wants to prove. I'm sure its possible to "prove" through the use of statistics that the .22 LR is a better stopper than the .50 BMG, but I wouldn't believe it no matter who posted it.

I agree that one shot stop percentages are pretty much meaningless (though the books on the subject are an interesting read). However, the .38 Special pushes a bullet sometimes more than twice as heavy as a .380 bullet, at an equal or higher velocity. Which would seem to be more effective?
 

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Check out this web sight about shooting ballistic gel. Many calibers are compared, and if shooting ballistic jello can tell the story then here is some food for consideration.


.38 Special
 

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Evan will be the first to tell you that it was a measure of quantitative analysis and never a theory of tactics. Shoot until the threat stops.

Evan Marshall, along with Ed Sanow were the ones that came up with the One Shot Stop percentages. It was designed as a way of measuring a bullet's effectiveness in real life encounters. Prior to that we had, goat and "old wife's tales and second hand information.

Biker
 

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Street statistics tell us nothing of value that can't be better gained from tests in gel through various coverings. The variables on the street make those figures virtually meaningless.

Back to .380 ACP vs. 38 spl. - How could a lighter bullet, traveling at the same speed as a heavier bullet perform better with the same medium of test? The only possible answer would be that the .380 was using a vastly superior bullet design to the one used in the 38.

Come to think of it - there is another answer! The guy testing the 38 could have been using a vastly inferior aiming technique and missed the target completely.
 

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If I was betting money, I would always bet on the 38. Bullet weight helps with the penetration and the 380 is a weak performer due to not going deep enough. Sometimes studies don't ever evaluate the 380 as the researcher begins with the 9mm. Also, the 38 Special is usually where defense begins for many with a revolver. When was an officer's primary exposed gun in the U.S. a 380? Of course the 38 Special was carried for many many years as such. Lay the two caliber rounds side by side and you will see which probably has the advantage.
 

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Anything worth shooting once is worth shooting twice.
 

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The .38 definitely has the edge on the .380, especially in the +P configuration.
 

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I would be more interested if the figures available were for three or four quickly placed shots. Are you are planning to meet a deadly threat with a single shot and then ponder your next move?
 

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I read that article. The reason the 380 ranked slightly higher, in my opinion was that they had less incidents of one shot 380 shootings. There were a lot more 38 spl shootings. The 22 is what suprised me.
 

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.38 special +P is very close to 9mm, the .380 not so much.
I was under the distinct impression that .38 sp +p was bordering on .357 mag, and that .380 +p was somewhat lighter than 9mm. Or to simplify, from lightest to heaviest:
.380
.380 +p
9mm
9mm +p
.38 sp
.38 sp +p
.357 mag
feel free to correct me if I have those mixed up.
 

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Most of what I've seen gives the edge to the 9 mm over the 38.

This link shows a table that M&S used (with Fuller) in one of their books. Barrel length is another factor to be considered.

One-Shot-Stop Percentage
 

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Comparing apples to apples (9mm 124 vs 38spl 125 +p) 9mm wins by 50 fps. I would have to call it a toss up
 

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The 9mm wins on energy because of the higher velocity.

Energy = 1/2 x mass x (velocity squared)

The attached chart shows energy, speed, penetration, one shot %, etc with different calibers. The 380 one shot % is less (sometimes) than both the 38 (depending which ammo) and the 9mm.

Handgun Cartridge Power Chart - Condensed Version
 

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Oy vey. Not this again...:twak: (just kidding)

In general, the .38 Spl has more penetration than the .380. A .380 loaded with JHPs will likely not meet the FBI minimum of 12" - probably more like 10". However, load the .380 with FMJ and you should have good penetration. This is why I alternate FMJ and JHPs in my wife's LCP.

It all depends on what you want. A .380 has more ammo capacity (typically 7 shots vs 5 in a snubbie revolver), a thinner profile, and a faster reload.

I do not subscribe to "one shot stops" with ANY firearm short of a grenade launcher.:hand5:

.38 revolver or .380 pistol? Pick the one you can shoot the best, put the most shots on target the fastest, and can carry concealed. All the rest is nonsense.:smile:
 
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